Visvamitrasana - The Flying warriorVisvamitrasana – The Flying Warrior by Sue Fuller

Visvamitrasana is an advanced asana that requires strength and flexibility to perform.  It is also a wonderful hip and shoulder opener.

Visvamitrasana is also known as the flying warrior.  It is named after an ambitious king who transformed himself into a yogic sage.  It opens, strengthens and twists the body all in one go.

There are many different ways to execute this asana.  Here is one variation to try.

Begin in downward facing dog.  On an inhalation extend your right leg straight up behind you as your exhale bring your right knee in towards your chest.  Maintain a smooth steady flow of breath as you transition to Visvamitrasana.

Turn your left heel in towards the centre of your yoga mat and hold onto the outside of the right foot with the left hand. Slowly extent the right foot and the left arm towards the front of your yoga mat whilst rotating the body to the left and opening the whole of the left side of the body.

Breathe slowly for five or more complete breaths and then rest in pose of the child before repeating on the other side.

Remember that this is a strong asana; take your time to fully execute it.  At first you might find that your leg does not fully straighten or the body does not completely rotate and open, this is fine.  Breathe slowly where you are comfortable and then relax, if you experience any pain or discomfort relax the posture immediately.

Sue Fuller is a leading yoga teacher and writer.  She has written three training courses for The British School of Yoga and is a regular columnist for Natural Health and the Yoga Magazine.  Sue is also the creator of the Yoga 2 Hear range of audio yoga classes.  Yoga 2 Hear has an extensive range of over 60 different yoga classes for all levels and requirements.  Audio Yoga classes allow you to practice yoga at a time and place that suits you without any visual distractions.